A Pediatrician, Dr. Adekunle Ola, said most birth defects are caused by poor ante-natal care.
Ola, who works with the Federal Medical Centre, Ebute Meta, made the assertion in an interview with NAN yesterday against the backdrop of children born with holes in the heart.
He said with proper ante-natal care, some congenital heart diseases such as Ventricular Vestal and Arterial Septal
defects would be detected for proper precautions to be taken.
“Other heart diseases that may occur include Tetralogy of Fallots, and Einsenmanger syndrome which can be corrected by surgery. These birth defects are often common in highly industrialised areas where people are exposed to undue radiation and reactive industrial agents.
“These diseases are common where there is a fall in radiation or chemical spray like what happened in Hiroshima and Nakarta in Japan where there was a chemical bombing during the Second World War.
“Congenital heart defects are problems in the heart’s structure that are present at birth. Approximately, one in every 100
newborns has congenital heart defect which can range from mild to severe.
“Congenital heart defects happen because of incomplete or abnormal development of the foetus’ heart during the early weeks of pregnancy. These birth defects usually occur during embryomic division in the first three months of pregnancy during which the womb cells are divided.
“Some earlier causes of heart diseases are known and associated with genetic disorder, but the cause of most congenital heart defects is unknown. While heart defects can’t be prevented, it can be detected during good ante-natal care though there may be no cure for it, the mother can prepare ahead for it.
“To forestall these unknown problems, expectant mothers should ensure that they register immediately they are certified pregnant, I don’t think this is expensive to do only that some women are careless,’’ he said.

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